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New Home Designed for Soggy Cities

Friday, May 16, 2014

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Rainwater harvesting systems come in many configurations, now including one you could live in.

A Hungarian design firm says it has developed a concrete house that can act as a giant water filter.

Photos courtesy of Ivanka

Rainhouse, a concrete structure that turns rain into drinking water, debuted at Milan Design Week in April.

Key to The Water of Life project is bio-concrete, a material that acts like “a natural limestone cave formation,” according to Katalin Ivanka. Ivanka is the creative director for Ivanka, the company that developed the concrete material and designed Rainhouse.

The bio-concrete system “orients and sets the pH [of the rain] to the ideal range […] and further softens the otherwise naturally soft rainwater,” she told Fast Company.


The Rainhouse system allows filtering of rain in a natural way without the use of chemicals.

Numerous filters integrated into the design also work to repurpose the rain into high-quality, sun-distilled drinking water, without the use of chemicals, the designer reported in a press release.

Potential Uses

Ivanka says the technology has abundant potential applications in parts of the world that see a lot of rain.

Homes designed with the technology could help manage storm water in cities prone to flooding.

The technology could also be incorporated into a water treatment plant for countries plagued with monsoons, but limited in safe drinking water.


The technology "will provide access to affordable clean water for small- and big-scale users, leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint in the process," according to Ivanka.

A demonstration of the Rainhouse was displayed during Milan Design Week in April.

Founded in 2003, Ivanka Studio and Concrete Factory is a Budapest-based firm that focuses on concrete design.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architecture; Bioproducts; Building materials; Color + Design; Concrete; Design

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